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# What's the difference between KB and MB such as, 700 KB or 700 MB?

Question #108873. Asked by StarWarsSpaz. (Sep 16 09 2:47 PM)

Watchkeeper

k and M are the SI prefixes kilo and mega respectively. SI is a decimal metric system (based on multiples and submultiples of 10), and k is the prefix for 1,000 whilst M is the prefix for 1,000,000. Thus we have 7kW = 7,000 watts, and so on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_prefix

However, when it comes to computer memory the number base is 2 rather than 10, so IN COMPUTING MEMORY TERMS k as in kilobyte is the prefix for 1024 (i.e. 2 to the 10th power, 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 1024). Similarly, M as in megabyte is the prefix for 1,048,576.

Thus 700kb is 700x1,024 bytes = 716,800 bytes, whereas 700Mb is 700x1,048,576 bytes = 734,003,200 bytes.

A byte is 8 bits, but do we really want to go there?

 Sep 16 09, 3:54 PM

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